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Improving Connectivity to Help Victoria’s Economy Thrive

Victorians have voiced their need for better mobile and broadband connections to improve economic growth and community safety. Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy in Victoria recently released the Connecting Victoria engagement report, which received more than 11,000 responses through Engage Victoria and more than 110 formal submissions. About 300 people also attended 13 roundtables held across the state.

A resident on Mount Dandenong in outer Melbourne has been campaigning for better connectivity for the ridge-top communities for years with telecommunications outages during storms and bushfires of major concern for locals. He interviewed residents and businesses to collect on-the-ground data about connectivity and build a true picture of the services available in the area before submitting the information to Connecting Victoria. The engagement report shows connectivity challenges exist right across the state, including the need to better support those working and studying remotely, telehealth and improving the service quality.

The Government will take into account insights from those who contributed to the engagement process and use them to form part of the decision-making process for which locations will be upgraded in future. The Commonwealth and telecommunications providers will also be encouraged to co-invest in the delivery of new infrastructure. Locations to receive upgrades or new infrastructure will be announced throughout this year.

Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy stated that better connectivity creates enormous opportunities for jobs, boosts community safety and supports growth in some of our most important industries. The Victoria government is investing in new infrastructure where it is needed most to ensure more Victorians can reap the benefits of a thriving digital economy.

The Mount Dandenong resident stated, I’m happy Connecting Victoria has stepped into the breach and that they are considering how to improve safety and emergency management. They have been very proactive in seeking community input and embracing local on-ground knowledge.”

About Connecting Australia

The Victorian government is fast-tracking better mobile coverage and broadband across the state through the $550 million Connecting Victoria program. The programme will enable more businesses to take advantage of digital opportunities with more reliable, better value broadband in more places, including popular shopping streets and business parks. It builds on the state’s $130 million investment in connectivity projects since 2014 and will bolster the state’s economic recovery.

The programme will focus on getting more Victorians access to business-grade broadband and upgrading mobile coverage, improving 4G mobile coverage, helping more places become 5G ready, and improving access to safety information during bushfires and other emergencies.

The government will encourage the Commonwealth Government and telecommunications providers to co-invest in the delivery of new infrastructure. New mobile and broadband infrastructure will mean more jobs and a boost for local businesses and will help Victorians stay connected to loved ones. It will allow more Victorians to participate in the online world, with better mobile coverage at home and when out and about.

The government will also partner with industry telecommunications providers to help deliver new infrastructure in as many places as possible, as quickly as possible.

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